I have been rewatching some tv shows lately, and have found wisdom buried in the humor of many of the quotes of those shows. While there are a myriad of just stupid shows out there, and there are an order of magnitude more stupid quotes, sometimes a show gets a great writing team and they are able to make a point with humor that provides a look at undeniable truth. While generally not considered to be high literature, these types of quotes, both in and out of context, remind me of some of the great literary works, like those of Jonathan Swift in “A Modest Proposal”, or even Shakespeare in his sheer number of well-worded insults. Good entertainment writing, such as that found in shows like Frasier, Breaking Bad, The Simpsons (yes, really), Gilmore Girls and others, use both the development of their characters and the delivery of the well-written line to get across a fundamental point that we all can generally agree upon.
It is a skill that is rarely seen in other areas today. Many times we are bludgeoned with repeated messaging designed to sell us on a point rather than reveal a truth. In fact, that is what is generally wrong with most of the writing today. We aren’t led to discovery, but rather beat into submission, and that is why I appreciate good writing and good lines from movies and television. Good writing should cause you to think and discover. Granted, I may be very guilty of bludgeoning you all with my opinions and concepts, but I have never called what my co-authors and I are doing great writing, merely the written equivalent of providing unsolicited opinions on topics that may or may not be relevant to anyone but ourselves. However, as none of us are paid to write professionally, we are okay, with being opinionated rank amateurs who happen to have a lot of interesting experiences behind us and who are just arrogant enough to believe we are right more often than most people. (Again, you can disagree with us, but that doesn’t make us wrong.)
Anyway, my purpose in writing this was to share just a few of the lines I have recently reencountered in the hopes that those writers will be able to lead you to discovery of truth or at least an appreciation for the talent they have. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite lines…and remember, a noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.
“I’m not a sore loser, it’s just that I like to win and when I don’t I get furious.”
“Deep down everyone is just faking it until they figure it out.”
“Books are useless! I only ever read one book, To Kill A Mockingbird, and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds! Sure, it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin, but what good does that do me?”
“The reason we have elected officials is so we don’t have to think all the time”
“You can’t live your life according to maybes.”
“And what exactly do you think fairy tales are? They are a reminder that our lives will get better if we just hold on to hope. Your happy ending may not be what you expect, but that is what will make it so special.”
“The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.”
“You know, it’s funny; when you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”
“Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour and it can never be used to hurt you.”
“If you wanna get over something, maybe sitting around and remembering it in every detail ain’t the right way.”